bad apple

From the Shadowlands

September, 2014

“So You Want to be a Bad Apple”


Most people are familiar with the expression that one bad apple can ruin the barrel. This same principle can be applied to people. It’s seen all the time in work situations, or social situations. All it takes is one person to turn a decent job into a nightmare or a fun social occasion into an ordeal. While I have seen situations in these areas, this article is about the bad apple at Festival and how to be one.

First, a pompous name is good. Try for something like Lady Fluffyfairy Twinkletoes Extraordinaire or Lord Mighty Thor’s Son on Earth. You get the idea.

Second, insist on being addressed by this title and as much of the title as you can. It doesn’t matter that your title applies pretty much just within your Coven. However, if you are a solitary, you can make up whatever rules you want.

Third, walk around the festival like you are visiting royalty. Whenever possible, when speaking to others, give the impression that you are looking down your nose at them.

Fourth, never defer to the elders of the community. Just because they have been around and established more years than you are old, and are respected throughout the community, there is no reason for you to respect them. This works real well when you are still relatively new to the festival circuit and have not yet learned who these elders are.

The following applies to camping, as many of these events are camping events.

First, if you chose to cabin camp make sure you have enough people to fill the cabin, because, heaven forbid, the staff may put someone in your cabin that you may not wish to include in your clique.

Second, make sure you have lots of banners so everyone knows who you are and that you are there. The more tasteless or poorly decorated these are, the better. Also, make sure you put up enough so that it is almost impossible to tell there is a cabin there. This will also insure that you intimidate most other Festival goers so they will stay away from your space.

Third is tent camping. If at all possible, find a secluded spot for yourself and the members of your group. You really need to have members of your group. Every pompous person needs henchmen to do his or her bidding.

Wooded areas are a great place for seclusion. If you have wooded areas at your gathering, it will do well to camp there, as it keeps the riff raff from stopping by and bothering you.

If you don’t have wooded areas or don’t want to be that close to nature try for a secluded spot on the Festival grounds. It doesn’t matter if your underlings have to walk a large distance to get to any festival activities.

Barring either of these options, you can always do your best to enclose your entire group’s tents in an enclosure of tarps. Those who camp with open areas in front of their tents tend to invite people to stop by and chat. By making your camping site uninviting, you can again keep down the riff raff and again play visiting royalty by only inviting in those you wish to grant an audience to.

Finally the big bonus is being on staff at one of these Festivals as you will not only be pompous and a bad apple; you will also have power. What bad apple doesn’t crave power?

Lie about your credentials or training. After all what are the chances that any one else attending will know the truth. Besides, you are Lord or Lady Imsogreat, who would dare question you?

Treat those who are your staff as your peasants or slaves, as they are so far beneath you that there is no need to treat them with consideration or politeness.

When you are staff, it is imperative that you remember that your program is THE most important part of the festival. You really don’t need to attend those pesky staff meetings, because you are much too important to attend to mere staff meetings.

Ask a respected elder to give a workshop, then try to tell them how they should do it. Later, do what you can to irritate or tick off said elder. That will always help you advance in the community.

Finally keep one thing in mind, those who dare to question or criticize you must obviously be jealous of your position and, no, they aren’t really laughing at you behind your back.

If, for some reason, you chose not to be a pompous arrogant pain in the rear to all attending, this is a whole lot easier. Keep in mind perfect love and perfect trust. Smile at those you meet and stop to talk. It is amazing the number of truly wonderful people you can meet that way.

For those who choose to take the insane route of staff, know whether they remember to say it or not, those attending really do appreciate all your hard work. Kindness, consideration and tolerance of others will make any gathering a pleasure for all who attend.

This article was based on observations I have made at a number of different open rituals, gatherings and festivals over the past twenty years. The vast majority of people attending these events have been kind, considerate and friendly who added to the event. As in every gathering of people there are those few who stand out for all the wrong reasons. It is my hope that through sharing this when you encounter one of these people you can smile and laugh the encounter off and not let it spoil an otherwise wonderful experience.